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How to succeed at Twitter, life in general: Stop being selfish!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 3rd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

If you want to be a success at Twitter, you have to follow some basic rules about leading a happy life. Don't be self-centered in your tweets. Don't be negative, grousing about lack of money or poor health. And, oh yes - no hashtags.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Georgia Institute of Tech being presented this findings at the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in France this week. Overall, Twitter users who posted positive, easy-to-read messages that contained news and other factual information, gained 30 times more followers than negative tweeters.

Getting re-tweeted by users such as Lady Gaga, who has almost 38 million followers, was the key to success. Making tweets happy, interesting and not using too many hashtags they found as being important.

Essentially - don't talk exclusively about yourself: Informational content attracts followers at a rate 30 times higher than personal content. Users talk about themselves in 41 percent of their tweets on average.

Don't worry, and be happy: Avoid such topics as death, suicide, ill health and failure.

And experts say to use hashtags sparingly: Using too many hashtags  puts people off. Researchers found that Twitter users with a high "hashtag ratio" attracted less followers.

The research proves that the content of tweets is more important than style. Researchers from the Georgia Tech in Atlanta studied 500,000 tweets posted by more than 500 Twitter users over a 15 month period, creating a list of 2,800 emotive terms that suggested whether the tweet was positive of negative.

These included the use of acronyms, such as LOL, emoticons and slang and swear words. Each term was then given a score on a scale of positivity.

"Followers are Twitter's most basic currency, yet little is understood about how to grow such an audience," Assistant professor Eric Gilbert says.

"By examining multiple factors that affect tie formation and dissolution over time on Twitter, we've discovered information that could help technologists design and build tools that help users grow their audiences."

Once tweets were assessed for positivity, users were divided into two groups: Twitter "informers" - those who share informational content and "meformers" - users who share information about themselves. Researchers found that "meformers" were less popular than those who retweeted news and shared factual information and links.

In fact, "informers" attracted followers at a rate 30 times higher than "meformers."

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